NEW PLANT DELIVERS NEXT PHASE OF REACTOR CLEAN-OUT
24th May 2006
A £3.8 million plant has commenced active commissioning ready to clean up effluent from the next phase of decommissioning Dounreay's Prototype Fast Reactor.
The start-up of the plant marks the end of a highly successful design and construction project, which has maintained an exemplary safety record on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority by UKAEA and its contractors.
The new plant will clean up effluent that comes from the dismantling of the old effluent treatment plant, decontamination of redundant components from PFR and the liquid effluent from the buffer store pond.
It is the latest stage of a £200 million project that will see Britain's second and last fast reactor completely dismantled by approximately 2032 on current projections.
The new facility is an essential part of the next stage of cleaning out the reactor in a way that does not damage the environment. It will collect the effluent, filter solids, neutralise and abate them using ion exchange units where required, prior to sampling and sentencing. The treated effluent is then transferred to the neighbouring Low Level Liquid Effluent Treatment Plant for discharge to the sea in accordance with authorised discharge limits.
Dr Jim McCafferty, PFR Decommissioning Manager, said: "The successful
operation of the new plant is integral to UKAEA's programme delivery. UKAEA Project Manager Mike Moore and his project team have overcome significant challenges to deliver this project on schedule and have demonstrated commitment and enthusiasm to develop a facility crucial to the site decommissioning programme."
The plant has recently undergone a gateway review to confirm its readiness for service. Acquisition programmes and procurement projects in central government organisations are subject to Office of Government Commerce gateway review, an independent check which examines a programme or project at critical stages in its lifecycle to provide assurance that it can progress successfully to the next stage. The review team concluded that the project had been well managed, instilling confidence in stakeholders. They highlighted several instances of significant good practice, which might be transferable to other programmes and projects, hence benefiting other areas of the Dounreay site decommissioning.
The main contractor was ALSTEC, supported by JGC Engineering and Technical Services, Nicholson Engineering Services, Orion Gow, JA Barnie, Capelrig, John Gunn and Sons, MM Miller (Wick), Isleburn Structural Steel, Budge Formwork, Petrie Painters, Mowat Technical Services, ADT, Pentland Construction, Arch Henderson and Johnson Controls.
Key factors in the safe delivery have been Alstec's development of a proactive health and safety culture on the site and UKAEA's experienced and professional project staff. The plant will be operational for the duration of the PFR decommissioning programme.
Dounreay’s radioactive impact on the environment continues to fall, according to a report. The annual survey report “Radioactivity in Food and the Environment” (RIFE 2012) has recently been published and it can be read here - http://www.sepa.org.uk/radioactive_substances/publications/rife_reports.aspx The report uses data obtained from samples of air, fresh water, grass, soil, and locally sourced meat, fish, milk and vegetables during 2012.
Dounreay today completed the destruction of one of the most hazardous legacies of Britain's earliest atomic research. A purpose-built chemical plant processed the last of 57,000 litres of liquid metal lifted from the primary cooling circuit of the experimental fast breeder reactor.
Bosses at Dounreay agreed that they won't now be spending £500,000 on a repaint of the sphere. They money saved will go instead towards actual decommissioning work.
Getting rid of Britain's 20th century experiment with fast breeder nuclear reactors is illuminating the history of human settlement on Scotland's north coast stretching back 6000 years. Archaeologists hired as part of the closure of the nuclear site at Dounreay have pieced together the legacy left by previous generations who occupied the site as long ago as 4000BC.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has published the latest edition of the UK's radioactive waste inventory. This sets out the type and volumes of radioactive waste at sites such as Dounreay, as of April 1, 2010.
Cash from the closure of the fast reactor site at Dounreay is set to breed a new generation of engineers and scientists in the Scottish Highlands. The money from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will fund half the cost of a £50,000 project to increase the number of school-leavers skilled in science, technology, engineering and maths.
The clearance of tens of thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste from the redundant nuclear site at Dounreay today moved a step closer. Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd announced the formal award of a contract to develop a disposal site for low-level waste from the decommissioning and closure of the site.
THE CROWN ESTATE REAPPOINTS CHRIS BARTRAM, AND APPOINTS DIPESH SHAH OBE AND ANTHONY WHITE AS NON-EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS The Crown Estate has announced yesterday, 22 December 2010, the re-appointment of Chris Bartram and the appointment of Dipesh Shah and Anthony White as Non-Executive Board Members. Chris Bartram, who has held the appointment as Crown Estate Board Member for four years has been reappointed for a further four year term with effect from 1 January 2011.
Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd recently welcomed an announcement about how much public money will be available to continue nuclear clean-up in the UK. DSRL manages the closure of the site on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which today confirmed that its total expenditure, including income generated, would be maintained at current levels of around £3bn a year.
Four experts from the Autorité de Sureté Nucleaire, the French nuclear safety inspectorate, spent a day at Dounreay discussing the decommissioning of alkali metal cooled fast reactors. The visit was hosted by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate as part of international collaboration over nuclear health and safety matters.
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